Animation historian Michael Barrier posts an essay about Carl Barks’s career, focusing on the character of Uncle Scrooge.

Barks’s stories owed their “freshness and originality” solely to the stimulation he found in his assignments from Whitman. Like only a few other comic-book workers—including some of his Whitman colleagues—Barks found an odd sort of artistic freedom in working for an audience made up mostly of prepubescent children. Young children’s demands are rigorous, but artists whose temperaments permit them to meet those demands can find themselves liberated to explore vast reaches of human behavior. So it has always been with the authors of great children’s books, and so it was with Barks, who gave his characters adult motivations but depicted them in terms children could understand.

 


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